Dr. Sara Gotheridge, M.D., the lead architect of Trilogy’s nationally recognized Integrated Healthcare Program, joined the Trilogy team in 2003 as a part-time psychiatrist and was quickly promoted to Trilogy’s Chief Medical Officer. During her twelve years with the organization, Dr. Gotheridge was a guiding force not only in the implementation of Integrative Healthcare at Trilogy, but in the implementation of best practices for integrative care in the field of behavioral healthcare.
2014 was a very important year in the field of behavioral health care. In January, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was implemented, giving all Americans access to affordable health insurance options. The ACA expanded access to mental health services for 62 million Americans who were unable to access these important services before, making it the most monumental legislation involving behavioral health care since John F. Kennedy signed the Community Mental Health Act in 1963. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) received a $144 million increase in federal funding, which meant more support for Primary Behavioral Heath Care Integration (PBHCI) and evidence based programs, among other things. In April 2014, President Barack Obama signed The Excellence in Mental Health Act into law. This legislation will establish pilot Certified Community Behavioral Health Center (CCBHC) programs in eight states and will increase access to community mental health and will create models for the standard of care at behavioral health centers across the nation. And, in July, the final rules for The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 (MHPAEA) were implemented. The law now requires “group health plans and health insurance issuers to ensure that financial requirements (such as co-pays, deductibles) and treatment limitations (such as visit limits) applicable to mental health or substance use disorder (MH/SUD) benefits are no more restrictive than the predominant requirements or limitations applied to substantially all medical/surgical benefits1.” This final ruling demonstrates that our federal government views behavioral health care services as an essential health benefit.
Advocacy is an important means of raising awareness on mental health issues and ensuring that mental health is on the national agenda of governments. Advocacy can lead to improvements in policy, legislation and service development.
In 2010, Trilogy partnered with Heartland Health Centers (HHC) and became one of 45 mental health organizations across the country to be awarded a competitive multimillion dollar, four year federal grant from the Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) in support of expanding our Integrated Healthcare Program (IHC). As participants in SAMHSA’s Primary and Behavioral Healthcare Integration (PBHCI) program, Trilogy became a part of a nationwide collective of innovative behavioral healthcare organizations that are addressing barriers to quality primary healthcare for individuals with serious mental illness which normally exist in the traditional, parallel treatment methods employed across the United States. Since 2010, the number of PBHCI grantees has grown from 45 to 100.
Individual trauma results from an event, series of events, or set of circumstances that is experienced by an individual as physically or emotionally harmful or threatening and that has lasting adverse effects on the individual's functioning and physical, social, emotional, or spiritual well-being.
Today, Trilogy joined the American Cancer Society in support of their Great American Smokeout, an event which happens every year on the third Thursday of November. The American Cancer Society encourages smokers to participate in the Great American Smokeout and to use it to make a plan to quit, or to plan in advance and quit smoking that day.
Diana is a peer specialist who works in the Trilogy Beacon. A passionate advocate for recovery and trauma-informed care, she was recently the guest speaker at the Illinois Region 1 Integrated Behavioral Health Network Meeting where she shared her story of recovery:
As a Williams Consent Decree Provider for the State of Illinois, Trilogy’s Williams Transition Team has assisted more than 100 people with their transition from nursing homes into independent living. Each individual we have worked with has a unique story of that process and what it has meant for them. Robert M. is a current Trilogy client who took time from planning a trip to Colorado with his family to talk about what the opportunity to live on his own has meant to him. His story shows just how important the Williams Consent Decree is for individuals who are currently residing in nursing homes but who are capable of living on their own with community-based assistance.